Mountain Meadows Basin


Tucked away from view south of Highway 36 near the town of Westwood in Lassen County, California, Mountain Meadows is a place of rare, unspoiled beauty, valued for its scenic vistas, fresh mountain air and water, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Mountain Meadows Basin forms the headwaters of the easternmost tributary of the North Fork of the Feather River above Lake Almanor  (Hamilton Branch). Cradled between the Sierra and the Cascade ranges at an elevation of 5,000 feet, the Basin is home to a diverse array of birds and wildlife, including special-status species. For thousands of years, it has been part of the ancestral homeland of the Honey Lake Mountain Maidu Indians.

The Mountain Meadows watershed includes numerous seasonal streams and six permanent creeks. Seasonal inflows into and through Mountain Meadows Reservoir support an diverse ecosystem (until summer 2015 there was an excellent multi-species fishery) as well as a seasonal abundance of waterfowl. These waters also nourish up to 60,000 acres of botanically lush wetlands, meadows, and riparian and upland forests.

A rich array of important ecological habitats can be found at Mountain Meadows, including mature and second growth mixed conifer forests, sage uplands, willow riparian, wetlands, mountain meadows, grasslands, lakes and streams. These habitats support eight threatened or endangered species and 26 species of special concern.